Friday, February 23, 2007

Teddy's First Birthday

Pamela is amazing! Yesterday morning, she walked in the kitchen and studied the drawer where I store her gluten-free, casein-free baking mixes reserved for special occasions. She said, "I want a cake." When I promised to bake one, Pamela excitedly bolted out of the kitchen.

A few minutes later, she came back with a teddy bear given to her by her Oma about a year ago. Pamela announced, "Teddy is one year old. I want a candle."

How could I refuse the chance to indulge the desire for pretend play? Since I was planning a shopping trip anyway, I asked, "Pamela, would you like me to pick up some ice cream and sorbet when I go shopping?" She answered in the affirmative, of course.

After we finished our routine for the day, we headed to Wal-Mart and made an exciting discovery! They carry Van's Gluten-Free Waffles, Alexia Food's Gluten-Free Waffle Fries, and Turtle Mountain's Organic So Delicious Chocolate Velvet Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert. Pamela and I high-fived each other and Snoopy-danced down the frozen food aisle. Wal-Mart's selection will never compare to that of Earth Fare with Pamela's special foods, but I might be able to spread out our bi-monthly trips to the health food store an hour from home!

After dinner, we celebrated Teddy's first birthday. I was so glad that my dislike of baking did not kick in when Pamela quietly asked for an impromptu cake earlier in the morning. A grouchy "No!" on my part could have halted the whole experience. By taking her request in good humor and letting masterly inactivity be my guide, I followed her whim down a delightful rabbit trail, illustrating what Charlotte described,
The next element in the attitude of masterly inactivity is good humour––frank, cordial, natural, good humour. This is quite a different thing from overmuch complacency, and a general giving-in to all the children's whims. The one is the outcome of strength, the other of weakness, and children are very quick to see the difference. 'Oh, mother, may we go blackberrying this afternoon, instead of lessons?' The masterly and the abject 'yes' are quite different notes. The first makes the holiday doubly a delight; the second produces a restless desire to gain some other easy victory.


Mary said...

Pamela's progress has largely been due to your letting her emerge through the developmental stages with the support of some of the accepted autism therapies (some DTT for academics, for example) and some not so accepted in the academic autism community (GFCF diet that has worked so well).
While Alan has not had AIT or needed the association method, he and I have benefited enormously from your candid sharing of what has worked for Pamela and he has also benefited from the GFCF diet since 1995 when we read from you how successful it was. Each of these children is an individual and one approach at any given time does not fit all as some would claim vociferously. Thank you for continuing to share what has worked and is working for Pamela. It is enormously helpful as we also go on our journey. Mary

walking said...

Exactly, Mary! I think parents are quite capable of assessing what has the potential of helping and what does not to address the unique needs of their children.

One thing I am investigating now that you are doing with Alan and Sonya has described on her site about her daughter Hannah is Relationship Development Intervention. I have ordered two of the books and will begin to figure out if RDI can help Pamela smooth out some of her rough edges on the social front.